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Ndebele rap Queen AWA Khiwe on staying authentic in Zim Hip Hop

By Keith Mlauzi | Nehanda Showbiz |

For so long Zimbabwean music has been criticized for lacking authenticity; Zim Hip Hop in particular. Upcoming rappers have shown a different level of creativity challenging such critics.

Ndebele rap Queen AWA Khiwe
Ndebele rap Queen AWA Khiwe

From Holy Ten with his unique deep voice bringing in a whole new taste to the rap scene, to Ndebele rap Queen Awa Khiwe proving she is the baddest in the game with her culturally deep rooted bars.

Hailing from the dusty streets of Makokoba, Germany based rapper Awa Khiwe brings in the much needed change in the Zim Hip Hop industry.

‘Ndebele rap Queen’ as she calls herself, has seen her fame skyrocketing after dropping a hit track “Ngeke Bangmele’ which garnered more than 20k views on twitter and over 10k views on YouTube.

Awa Khiwe opened up on how she will never change her identity to fit in people’s ‘expectations’ for Hip Hop artistes.

“I call myself Ndebele rap Queen, because it’s my identity. I aim to celebrate my roots and culture through rap and that’s what inspires me every day.

“Most people think it’s limiting but to me it’s not… People should learn to celebrate Zimbabwe’s cultural and linguistic diversity, that’s how we will grow our industry,” she said.

The rapper who recently opened up that she had been battling a lung disease – pneumonia; said she was too busy to be worried about people who do not appreciate her talent as it is.

“I don’t mind when some people don’t appreciate me. People have different tastes in music and I focus on those who love and support my work.”

Her music career is rooted in humble beginnings as she started at a home studio in Makokoba called Makokoba Township Records, from there the sky has been the limit for the artiste who has been documented by Vice Media and was featured by the BBC in 2016.

She has also performed at the Shoko Festival and in the UK as part of Voices of the Revolution, a collective of 15 female musicians from 10 countries. Although she throws in some English lyrics here and there, Awakhiwe lyrics are mainly in Ndebele. Nehanda Radio

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